A simple guide to budgeting for your first flat

A simple guide to budgeting for your first flat

The time has come for you to move out and live on your own. This is an exciting time as this next step gives you the freedom of being in your own space. Having your place allows you to enjoy some “me time” when no one can bother you, experiment with your creativity when it comes to decor, and do what you need for your mental health. 

But, as amazing as it sounds to live on your own, it can be a costly expense. Especially if you live in the city as there aren't many affordable flats in Johannesburg. This is why JHC prides itself on offering affordable housing in Johannesburg. However, while we offer affordable places to stay within the city, we know that it can still be expensive when someone doesn’t have a plan or budget in place. This is why we compiled some tips to give you insight into how you can budget for your place. 

Take a look at your existing budget

First things first, you need to take a look at your budget. This will help you identify how much money you have left and, more importantly, what kind of flat you can afford. For example, our flats in Newtown range from single rooms, double-room flats, communal facilities, as well as bachelor flats to rent in Newtown. By looking at your budget and the amount left to spend, you can decide what unit suits your budget best. According to experts, rent shouldn't be more than 30 percent of your income after tax, regular monthly commitments and deductions. This allows you to still afford additional things such as entertainment, personal care and other expenses.

Consider moving expenses

While moving is a one-time expense, it is something you need to budget for. There are many unforeseen moving expenses that you may not consider, which can leave you in a difficult situation financially. To avoid that, rather have everything planned meticulously so that you have peace of mind while you prepare for your move. This will ensure that you know what you need to put money towards and how much.

Account for new expenses

The budget you were using before will need to be reviewed and tweaked accordingly. You now have more expenses, and without budgeting, you can easily miss a few things, which can make you turn to credit cards and wrack up debt very quickly. To combat that and only use a credit card in case of an emergency, you need to account for everything. This includes: 

  • Electricity. 
  • Water. 
  • Internet (optional). 
  • Streaming services (optional).
  • Petrol or transportation. 
  • Groceries and cleaning supplies. 

Save up for a deposit

When you move into a new place, there is a lot you need to account for financially. Apart from having to worry about your monthly rent, you need to consider your security deposit as well. A deposit is one of the hidden costs that you need to add to your budget, and you need to understand what your potential landlord expects of you. Some landlords want up to three months worth of rent as a deposit. To be on the safe side, make sure that you save a large sum of money before moving out. Or, while doing your research, save up to three months of rent for potential flats in Johannesburg CBD so that once you finally move, you have the deposit saved up and won’t be in a difficult situation financially. 

Only budget for furniture you need

If you are moving into your first flat, chances are you don’t have furniture. This is where you need to decide if you will go the fully furnished route or buy as you go. Our advice is to opt for a non-furnished place and save up for your most crucial furniture, such as a bed, fridge, microwave and other essentials. Then once you are settled, you can start saving towards furniture items you need and would like to have in your place. When it comes to furniture and keeping things affordable, you need to remember that you don’t need to buy everything at once. Take your time and budget accordingly to ensure your move goes smoothly.  

What’s important to you?

Moving into your own space can be terrifying, especially when you don’t have a large amount of money readily available for your move. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t move or that your experience will be unbearable. At JHC, we offer affordable places to stay, but we’re also a community. You will be surrounded by people who won’t mind lending a helping hand as you figure everything out. All you have to do is make sure you budget wisely and don’t put pressure on yourself to afford everything; simply focus on what is important to you. Contact us today to discuss affordable options available for you to rent at one of our residences.